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A complete Universal system will consist of the following

six components:



1) An Evaporator Kit that will include a self-contained air handler that is operated by electronic servos capable of providing heat cool and defrost (where applicable) functions. The kit will also include a set of electrically operated controls (both standard and optional controls available), all air vents (both standard and optional vents available), with 2 ˝” flexible ducting, heater control valves, defrost adapters with 2” flexible ducting (on defrost units) and a complete wiring harness.


Installation will require removing all original heating and /or A/C components (boxes, ducting, plenums, cables, and valves from under the dash area. Any holes left in the firewall, inner fender, and cowl area that are not utilized during installation must be plugged or blocked off by the installer. Four lines (2 A/C and 2 heater) will have to pass through the firewall or inner fender area and a drain must pass through the firewall behind the evaporator unit. The unit must be secured under the dash area to the firewall and dash lip using brackets provided. These brackets are universal and can be modified for any application. We suggest placing the unit behind the dash towards the passenger side. You will have remove and cut the glove compartment down to accomplish this install in most vehicles. The electrical connection is very simple. One 12 gauge wire goes directly to a battery source and a purple power lead goes to a key-on source. There are a few grounds and the rest is plug and play. Complete instructions and schematics take you through the process step by step. 


2) A Sanden 508 Compressor that is a universal type. Compressors are available in different drive types (serpentine or v-belt), different finishes (plain, polished or black), and with different outlet configurations (top exit or rear exit)


Installation will require the use of a mounting bracket made to accept the Sanden 508 compressor. Unfortunately an OE compressor bracket will not accept these Sanden type compressors without modification. The R134-A compressors do not have provisions for servicing the system; you must use the service port fittings in the hose kits.


3) A compressor mounting bracket will most likely be available depending on application (We cover most popular Chevrolet, Ford, Mopar, and Pontiac applications; You can check for availability on pages 50-56 in our catalog). Since it would be nearly impossible to develop replacement brackets for every engine ever manufactured; you may be required to fabricate a mount for your vehicle. If you choose to use an engine that is not used by mainstream restorers, you will most likely be fabricating. Although this is the biggest stumbling block for most people in a custom installation, you can always choose to use a factory compressor and bracket to operate the system or maybe obtain a factory bracket to duplicate or modify it to accept the more reliable and efficient Sanden compressor.


Installation on the most popular applications will simply require removing factory bolts and replacing with the parts in the kit you will receive. If you have an application where a bracket must be fabricated, this is where you must decide if you can accomplish this task yourself. Metalworking and fabrication skills come into play in this operation. If you are not comfortable with cutting and welding metal, you may want to contact one of our dealers in your local area. If you are ready to tackle the job yourself, the easiest method to building a replacement bracket is accomplished by finding an original OE equipment bracket and modifying it to accept the Sanden. If you are a skilled fabricator, you can simply start from scratch. We have a universal bracket (part # 15115-VUB) that can help you accomplish this.  You must remember that cars without factory air will require pulleys that can accept enough belts to drive all the components. Often the alternator can be driven off of the Sanden compressor if you have the room on the same side of the motor.


4) A Universal hose kit that will include three hoses in various lengths, two A/C bulkhead fittings, and two compressor fittings with service ports. There will be enough fittings included to complete the typical installation. The hose kits are sold with or without a drier and are compatible with our larger decorative bulkhead plates.


Installation of a universal hose kit will require you to cut the hoses to length and have the ends crimped onto them after you have determined the proper fitting orientation. Usually a local NAPA Autoparts or a local air conditioning shop will crimp the fittings for you for a small fee. If you cannot locate someone in your area, we will crimp them for you and you will only pay for the return freight charges.  Vintage Air can also custom fabricate hardlines to your specifications or you can purchase our “U-Bend-Em” hardlines that are pre-swedged with the ends and can be easily bent using common hand tools. 


5) A Condenser will be sized according to the area in front of the radiator and the opening in the core support of the radiator. The correct size is determined by choosing the condenser that will cover the largest amount of the fin area in front of the radiator. 


Installation of a universal condenser will require you to drill holes in the core support and to fabricate mounting brackets (a set of universal brackets are included) The general rule of thumb is to place the condenser in the opening as close to the radiator as possible without touching it. The placement depends on the line configuration and any obstructions that will cause interference.  


6) A Safety Switch will be offered to safeguard your compressor against failure in case of a high or low refrigerant pressure condition occurring in the system.


Installation of a safety switch is advisable anywhere in the # 6 or high-pressure line. We have driers that have provisions to accept the male safety switches and adapter fittings that help make the installation a snap. The switch is then wired between the thermostat and the compressor. Two models are available: A trinary is used when an electric fan control is needed and a binary is used when only the safety functions are needed.




   Once the installation is complete you will have to have the system serviced.   

 We recommend that you seek professional help at this point.

 Vintage Air recommends the use of a charging station when doing any type of service to you’re A/C system. These machines are more efficient and provide the highest level of accuracy when charging by volume. R134a should be charged by volume, not by pressure or sight glass readings. Using the manifold gauge method worked fine for R12, but R134a is extremely charge sensitive.